What to Know About Loving an Alcoholic

By Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D.

Alcoholism is a problem for many couples. Research shows that over 30% of Americans exceed the FDA guidelines for alcohol use (one drink a day for women and two for men). If your loved one drinks to cope with everyday life, the problem has wormed its way into your relationship and everyone close to you will be poisoned.

Unfortunately, most people don’t realize the harmful effects of alcoholism on a relationship until it’s too late. If you’re with someone who is abusing alcohol, it’s time to wake up and drink some coffee.

To find out if you or your partner are drinking alcoholically ask yourselves the following questions.

  1. Have you ever felt that you should cut down?

  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?

  3. Have you ever felt guilty about your drinking?

  4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?

Answering yes to even one may be the sign of a problem.

Many people abuse alcohol because they cannot deal with the pain they are feeling or they just want to shut down and escape, doing this regularly is dependence. Alcohol may make you feel better for the moment, but it doesn’t last long and it creates a myriad of problems in your relationship and your life.

Some would say that a little excess now and again isn’t a crime. I beg to differ; if you’re driving while intoxicated it’s a crime. And if something unthinkable happens and someone is killed or injured, there is no getting over it or fixing it. Your life and the lives of those you love are damaged forever.

If you ignore your own values by thinking that you are needed or helping your alcoholic partner, a co-dependency is in progress. In truth, this is only enabling the destructive behavior.

In order to deal with this demon, you also need to get support and demand that your alcoholic partner get help. A good rehab facility will offer family and couple sessions and recommend you get additional support.

Additional assistance may be only a mouse click or a phone call away. There are some great people and places out there. Passages in Malibu, CA has lots of helpful information and a great environment to heal in (www.PassagesMalibu.com).

If your partner resists getting help through AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), going to a treatment center or doesn’t believe he or she has to do something about his or her problem you must create a “tough love” attitude and not allow the person to abuse themselves or you any longer. A qualified rehabilitation facility will offer intervention techniques to help motivate your loved one to take care of the problem.

The bottom line is that alcoholism directly affects those you love and no relationship can survive it. If you want to keep what you have, it’s worth giving up the habit.

Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. has been named as the recipient of the Joseph A. Giannantoino II Award in recognition of his contributions as an Outstanding Educator in the field of Addiction Medicine, given by The California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Counselors, who also inducted him into The CAADAC Hall of Fame.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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